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Hill tells Pistons he’s bound for Orlando

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — All-Star Grant Hill has told Detroit management that he is leaving the Pistons, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

After six years as Detroit's franchise player, the free agent told Pistons executive Joe Dumars on Thursday night that he will sign with the Orlando Magic, the newspaper said.

Orlando offered Hill $67.5 million for six years, the most allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. He can't sign until Aug. 1.

Two days after returning from house-hunting in Florida, Hill met with Dumars and told him he will sign a contract with the Magic, unidentified sources told the Free Press.

Hill, a five-time NBA All-Star, became a free agent on Saturday.

He visited Orlando with San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan. Hill told Dumars the Magic's offer was too good to pass up, even if Duncan does not leave the Spurs, the Free Press said.

Hill's decision to sign with Orlando came as the bidding for his services heated up.

In an unusual move, the New York Knicks sent general manager Scott Layden, vice president Steve Mills, coach Jeff Van Gundy and Madison Square Garden president David Checketts to suburban Detroit to court Hill.

"The two sides met and it was a productive meeting," Knicks spokeswoman Lori Hamamoto told the Detroit News.

On Tuesday, Hill said he was leaning toward signing with Orlando but was not yet 100 percent sure.

Hill has spent his entire NBA career with Detroit, and the Pistons reached the playoffs in four of his six seasons but never won a series. Last season, he averaged 25.8 points, third-best in the NBA.

The Pistons hoped they could keep Hill by promoting Dumars last month and by their ability to make Hill a larger offer than other teams could — $115 million for eight years.

"You're talking about $60 million, $70 million or $80 million — this guy makes a lot of money off the court also," Detroit guard Michael Curry said Thursday. "It's just going to come down to what's going to make him and his family happier. He's a wealthy guy already."

Hill's departure would give Detroit $8.27 million more next season under the NBA salary cap. But with or without Hill, the Pistons could sign a player or two to keep them competitive.

Dumars has already spoken to Indiana's Jalen Rose, a product of Detroit Southwestern High School and the University of Michigan. Rose was impressed with Dumars, but early reports indicate Rose is leaning toward re-signing with the Pacers.

Dumars also could go after Rose's former Wolverines teammate, Chris Webber of Sacramento.